Environmentally-friendly topcoat for aircraft

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering developed a safe and user-friendly topcoat that was recently applied onto the exterior of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory chemists developed a new topcoat which is safer for the environment and easier to apply. Image: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The topcoat, which is a one-component polysiloxane based on organosilane polymers, is a new technology free of  isocyanates and other hazardous air polluting (HAP) chemicals. The 1K polysiloxane is scheduled for a 1 to 2-year evaluation period. “We’re very proud of this achievement,” Erick Iezzi, Ph.D., senior research chemist at NRL, states. “Polyurethane topcoats have existed for several decades, yet within a few years we’ve been able develop an environmentally friendly alterative that provides similar laboratory performance and is easy for painters to use.” Replacing isocyanates with polysiloxane provides a safer coating for painters and anyone conducting maintenance in nearby areas. The new 1K topcoat also contains lower levels of volatile organic compounds, which negatively impact air quality when released during spray applications. The 1K polysiloxane topcoat requires no metering or mixing of components thereby reducing time of preparation and providing a more homogeneous color on aircraft. The container is also resealable for future use, which reduces the generation of hazardous waste and disposal costs.

Further information: www.nrl.navy.mil

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